Dog cooling mats are special mats designed to help regulate the body temperature of dogs in hot weather. They are made of materials that can absorb and dissipate heat, such as gel-infused foam, phase-change materials, or water-absorbing polymers.
Many dogs love their cooling mats, especially when the weather is hot. Dogs do not sweat like humans, and they rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. However, panting may not be enough in extreme heat, and a cooling mat can provide relief and help prevent heatstroke. The mat stays cool to the touch and helps cool down a dog's body as they lie on it.
Most dogs find the cool surface of the mat to be soothing; however, every dog is different and some may not be immediately comfortable with a new type of surface. It's a good idea to introduce the mat gradually and monitor your dog's behavior to ensure they are comfortable and not experiencing any adverse reactions. Additionally, some dogs may prefer a particular type of cooling mat or may not like using a mat at all. It's important to observe your dog's behavior and preferences and adjust accordingly to ensure their comfort and well-being.
Dog cooling mats are usually lightweight and portable, making them convenient for use both indoors and outdoors. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and they may be sold with a removable, washable cover for easy cleaning. Here are a few of our favorites from Amazon:
BEAUTY ZOO COOLING MAT - This mat has an absorbent layer and is machine washable. Cool, but not cold, this is a great introduction to cooling mats!
PRESSURE ACTIVATED GEL PAD - This mat is self cooling or can be placed in your refrigerator for faster activation. This pad is filled with a non-toxic gel that can also have orthopedic advantages but might not be the best choice for chewers. Sizing matches many popular crate sizes.
HYDRO COOLING MAT - This mat has a removable ice pack and is the "coolest" of the options but also the most expensive and least convenient. Can be made larger by joining mats together. Probably best for serious heat or when medically required.
A food topper is a type of supplemental food that is designed to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your dog's regular meals. They are usually marketed towards those feeding kibble which can often be bland and lack the nutritional punch of other diets. A food topper can come in different forms, including wet or dry and can be made from various ingredients such as meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
A food topper is typically added to your dog's regular food to provide additional flavor, texture, and nutrients. It can be a great option for picky eaters, dogs who need extra encouragement to eat their meals (perhaps during a health struggle) or dogs needing an added supplement due to a condition such as pregnancy or a health condition. When chosen carefully, food toppers can provide a variety of health benefits, such as added vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. When choosing a food topper, it's important to be familiar with the nutrients in the food you are already feeding (the one you are topping). Select a topper to add to those nutrients and fill in gaps. Think of this like identifying gaps in your own personal nutrition and the taking the appropriate vitamin. If you drink a gallon of orange juice a day, you don't need a Vitamin C supplement.
Food toppers can be store bought or homemade. Here are a few of our favorites from both categories:
STORE BOUGHT OPTIONS:
1. Stella & Chewy - Stella & Chewy has some great nutritional products but we're particularly fond of this Magical Dinner Dust in Beef Flavor which is a meal topper / mixer. It's great for diets that need more protein, contains fiber, probiotics and a host of added vitamins and minerals that are great for your dog. We also LOVE their line of meal morsels that you can mix in with your dog's food to address specific issues such as Skin & Coat (with wild caught salmon) and Hip & Joint (with tons of ingredients added to improve join health in older dogs).
2. Instinct Raw Boost Mixers - This is another great raw line with a variety of options that are sure to meet your dog's needs. These toppers also make great healthy treats (and are often less expensive than products marketed as treats). Standouts include their Grain Free Beef mixer (great for dogs on a grain free and poultry free diet due to allergies) or their functional support line which also addresses unique needs in dogs such as Gut Health, Calming Support, and MultiVitamin.
3. Canned Dog Food - While we aren't generally a fan of canned dog food, don't overlook it as a good topper if you are dealing with picky eating or a dog refusing food near end of life. Make sure to use only highly rated canned food with a solid nutritional profile. Our top pick is a lesser known brand, Weruva, whose fun flavors and small can sizes make a good topper when needed.
4. Fresh Pet Food - Fresh home delivered pet food has quickly become mainstream on the dog food scene and for good reason, it's incredibly nutritious, usually human grade, dog for your food that takes the confusion out of raw but is substantially better than most kibble products on the market. Our pick in this category is Ollie and it makes a great topper or mixer for your chosen kibble. Our dogs prefer the beef but all flavors are a solid choice. Click here to get your first box at 60% off.
There are many homemade dog food toppers right in your own fridge that can be a great addition to your dog's diet. Here are a few easy and healthy options:
It's important to remember that not all human foods are safe for dogs, so always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog's diet. Also, make sure to avoid foods that are toxic to dogs, such as onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, and raisins.
In closing, food toppers can be an incredibly useful tool in yit's important to choose a food topper that is appropriate for your dog's dietary needs and preferences, and to introduce new foods gradually to avoid digestive upset.
As a pet parent, you want the best for your pup, including the treats you give them. Treats are a great way to reward good behavior, show affection, and provide a little extra love and nutrition. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the best treats for your dog. Let's take a look at what you need to consider when choosing the right treats for your pup.
The first and most important thing to consider when choosing a treat is the ingredients. Look for treats made with whole ingredients, such as meat, fruit, and vegetables, and avoid those with artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. Treats made with high-quality protein sources are a good choice, as they provide essential nutrients and help to support your dog's overall health
Allergies and Sensitivities
If your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities, it's important to choose treats that are free of the ingredients they are allergic to. For example, if your dog is allergic to grains, choose treats made with rice or potatoes instead of wheat. If you're unsure what ingredients your dog is sensitive to, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.
Palatability and Size
Dogs have different preferences, just like people do, and finding a treat that your dog enjoys is important for training. A treat that your dog loves and looks forward to eating will be much more effective as a reward. When it comes to puppies make sure to get a treat that is easily consumed. If your puppy takes a long time to consume the reward they will often get distracted while they are chewing and check out of your training session. Remember treats should account for no more than 10% of a dog's caloric intake, so ensure that the treats you are giving your dog are appropriately sized.
If your dog has special needs, such as being overweight or having dental issues, there are treats specifically designed to meet those needs. Treats that are low in fat and calories, or those that help to clean your dog's teeth, can help to keep your dog healthy and happy
The right treats can play an important role in your dog's overall health and well-being. Consider your dog's allergies, sensitivities, and nutritional needs when making your choice, and choose treats that are made with high-quality ingredients and free of artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. With the right treats, you can reward your dog for good behavior, provide them with the nutrients they need, strengthen your bond and show them your love!
Interested in hearing more amazing tips from Biscuit? Unleash your pet parenting skills with our live expert sessions. Don't wait, sign up for a free 7 day trial and RSVP today!
LierChonPoo is proud to partner with Biscuit for all of our puppy training needs.
Links to LierChonPoo Suggested Treats:
Freeze dried chicken liver
Freeze fried duck and mango
Freeze dried meat treats
Did you know that May is National Pet Month? Leave it to Amazon to celebrate with it's very first NATIONAL PET DAY marked by some great deals on everything you need (and plenty of things you just want) for your puppy or dog). There are also plenty of items that are not great deals or that you should use on your pet - we will help you separate the two!
So, whether you are still waiting for your LierChonPoo puppy or already have a dog in your home, you can rely on us to direct you to the best sale items. PLEASE keep in mind that these items are only on sale today (May 2) and many will expire or run out. Here's how to play it smart:
So, let's kick off the shopping fun with this morning's recommendations.
ODOR ELIMINATOR - If you have pets, you have odors. Save up to 52% of this ODOR ELIMINATOR with a great citrus scent. Please note you can increase your savings by purchasing two items here and candidly, can you ever have enough odor eliminator? Our suggestion is to purchase one bottle and then add the version with the UV flashlight (click here). We've found these flashlights aren't 100% accurate but do help identify areas where you puppy might have gone potty that you weren't aware.
SNUFFLE MAT - These are a great way to occupy your puppy or dog. We use them with our puppies and they're great fun. If you want to learn more about Snuffle Mats, read more on our blog post: WILL WORK FOR FOOD to understand why this is a great purchase!
BASIC GROOMING SET - Even if you get your dog professionally groomed, you need these essentials on hand to keep up with occasional tangles, mats and well, dingleberries (sorry, had to be said). This is a simple kits of decent quality at almost half off.
FOOD PUZZLE - A great enrichment activity for your pet and also covered in our WILL WORK FOR FOOD blog post. These require supervision (puppies can run off and chew / choke on small parts) but are another great way to occupy your puppy or slow down your fast eating dog!
POOPER SCOOPER - Check out this highly rated pooper scooper at more than 40% off. The smaller size is best for these breeds.
CAR SEAT - This is not the car seat we normally recommend (it can be found on our PUPPY WISH LIST) but it's a great deal on a comparable model. All puppies need to be properly restrained in the car so please make sure you are using a highly rated car seat for your dog or puppy and only use with a harness (never a collar).
OUTWARD HOUND PRODUCTS - Check out the Outward Hound Store on Amazon for some great deals today. Many of these products are for larger dogs so pay careful attention to the sizes. Items we suggest are the Interactive Puzzle Toy, Small Hide A Squirrel for puppies and the slow feeder bowl. We will be watching to see if their life jackets go on sale today as well!
SINGLE INGREDIENT DOG TREATS - You know we only recommend healthy dog treats and they rarely come on sale. We found some HERE! Our dogs love the chicken but we're sure all the flavors are a good choice!
PLUSH DOG TOY - When we can find a decent plush dog toy fur under $3, it's going in the cart.
CHUCK IT - Small Chuck It Balls are on sale and we LOVE these for our puppies. Save more when you buy 2!
CRATE BEDDING - These crate beds / liners by MidWest are not the sturdiest we've used but they will work and at this price it's easy to buy 2-3 so you can wash and replace as needed. Make sure to pick the size that fits your crate (different colors and sizes have different sales prices but some are as high as 50% off).
LUNCHTIME LIGHTENING DEALS (THESE WILL GO FAST):
8 PACK PUPPY TOYS
FOOD STORAGE SYSTEM
GROOMING GLOVES - We LOVE grooming gloves and so do our puppies and dogs. We've not tried this brand but they are highly rated and a great afternoon deal.
HEALTHY JERKY TREATS - This Amazon brand is a winner in the Jerky category with only 2 ingredients and sourced in the USA (China chicken jerky has proven dangerous).
FREEZE DRIED CHICKEN - Our dogs and puppies love this. Great single ingredient training treat, food topper for picky eaters, etc.
PUPPY PLAY PEN - For those getting a new puppy who would like more space than a crate, this pen is a solid solution at a great price.
HIMALAYAN YAK CHEWS - So hard to find these on sale. This is a good price for the medium size which will work for full grown Cavaliers, Cavachons & Cavapoos.
THIS EVENING'S OFFERINGS:
Generic SNUGGLE PUPPY (for bringing a new puppy home) - A puppy with a heartbeat and heat is a great way to acclimate your new puppy to being alone at night in his or her crate. This is a generic version of the one we generally recommend but it's on sale and seems to have equally good ratings!
BULLY RINGS - Check out this 40% off on Bully Rings. Other products in the same brand on similar sale. We're stocking up on a few of these!
BISSELL SPINWAVE PET ROBOT - This is a Black Friday kind of deal on this robot vacuum made specifically for pet households. We're dying to try it but already have a Roomba running around here. If you have a high shedding Cavalier (or plan to get one), this might need to be in your basket!
TREAT DISPENSING TOY - We have tons of these around but at $3.21 we plan to try this one too!
FLOATING TOY - If you have a dog that likes to swim and/or fetch, we love the idea of a floating toy. We let our puppies play in shallow pools in the summer so we will try one out and report back!
Remember to refresh often. HAPPY AMAZON PET DAY . . .
1) Sign up for Paw Club. It's free to sign up and you get some perks. We all need perks!
2) Order 4 months of products at a time. For a new puppy parent we would suggest the following order:
3) If you have an older dog your order would be similar but you might consider a food with less calories or ordering a different protein. Fill out the pet profile to determine what best suits your dog. Perhaps for your $15 item you might want to consider joint support or Chillax (if you have any anxiety issues in the house).
4) Set up an EZ Ship. Again, you get perks for this so we set a reminder 10 days before the auto-ship and make any changes necessary. We usually change our $15 item and sometimes switch proteins for the older dogs just to keep things interesting.
5) Lastly, take advantage of that promo code INTRO4U which is only good for your first order. It will get you 20% off!
6) Following this bulk purchase with free shipping method, we have been able to feed our dogs for $1.60 per day ($1.28 a day on our first order) before taxes. This is equal or less than when we were purchasing smaller bags of high quality kibble from our local pet store.
We recently placed one of our adorable rescue pups with a local family on Daniel Island. Just days later we learned that the guardian family had a very gifted family member, Meg Swayze, who painted this adorable custom canvas of Archie. We had to learn more.
Imagine our surprise to learn that Meg has an Etsy studio (Swayze Studio) where she will paint you pet's portrait on canvas for as little as $125. We've seen digital art at that price but never a live artist who works so hard to capture the sweet faces of our beloved family members! Please take a minute and check out Meg's art. If you get a portrait of your sweet Cavalier, Cavachon or Cavapoo please take a minute to share it with us on Facebook or Instagram. We will be ordering and sharing a few of our own!
If you are struggling with crate training your puppy, with puppy boredom or with an overactive puppy or dog, this blog post is for you! All dogs and puppies are happier, healthier and easier to train when they are mentally stimulated. One easy way to challenge your puppy is to have them work for their food. Every time we set down a bowl of food, we are missing a great opportunity to entertain and stimulate our puppy. These are also great for fast eaters, dogs that suffer from separation anxiety (offer when leaving) and for in crate entertainment. Oh, and in case you have lacked any "intimate time" since purchasing your puppy, these are also great for escaping to your room in peace for long enough . . .
Not sure how to make your puppy work for their food? Here are some examples:
LEVEL ONE - SNUFFLE MATS AND SLOW FEEDERS
Many breeders use snuffle mats with puppies as a part of the weaning and play process. Start by hiding a few high value treats in this mat and work up to feeding an entire meal. Placing a high quality kibble in the mat will slow your dogs eating, entertain them in a crate or pen and allow your dog or puppy to learn to work to find their food. Most LierChonPoo puppies and dogs will have been exposed to one of these options:
Small Snuffle Mat - This mat is inexpensive and travels easily. It's suitable for both puppies and adults.
Medium Snuffle & Play Mat - We love this medium mat with multiple places to hide treats and food for entire litters, households with more than one small dog or larger breeds. We also love that it's easy to wash and we recommend doing so weekly.
Slow feeders are similar but are simply a mechanism to slow a fast eater and are not as stimulating as a snuffle mat. You can increase the entertainment value of a slow feeder by mixing your kibble with a quality wet food which takes significantly longer to eat when spread on the walls of the feeder.
LEVEL TWO - SNOOPS
Snoops are advertised as being an interactive treat dispenser but we regularly use them as a bowl to feed and entertain puppies by placing a mixture of kibble and other food inside and using it as a bowl. We start these before feeding in Kongs because they are easier for the puppy to manipulate. To make it tougher, you can purchase the smiley face insert; however, we've found it easier to simply put a mixture of food and larger components in the Snoop to make it more challenging. For example, we will introduce these with a small amount of kibble mixed with a few high value treats. Once the dog has acclimated we will replace the treats with some larger pieces of cooked chicken or jerky that make getting to the food more difficult. Plugging the whole in the bottom with a treat or kibble or adding something like peanut butter (never with artificial sweetener) or plain yogurt can also increase the challenge. Snoops can be placed in the dishwasher (top rack) and we love that they are coated with a mint oil to help keep breath fresh. Our young dogs will work on these for 20-30 minutes which is great entertainment while we clean their space, sneak out the door for errands, etc.
LEVEL THREE - KONGS
The Kong is perhaps the most popular "work for food" toy on the market. For puppies, you want to begin with the small binkie Kong and get the multi-pack as you will need multiple kongs in order to keep them cleaned and stuffed. As your puppy progresses and grows (or to feed entire meals), move up to the medium. We have done an entire blog post HERE on how to stuff a kong from simple to more complex. What we will repeat here is that the Kong is a great way to make a puppy work for food and a great way to reward and entertain a puppy in the crate.
LEVEL FOUR - PUZZLES & INTERACTIVE TOYS
It is rare that we use a puzzle or toy to feed an entire meal but it can be done. If you are feeding a high calorie dense kibble such as PawTree, you can actually fit an entire meal in one of these toys.
Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy and Tug-A-Jug are very popular with our puppies but we don't use them as often as they can be difficult to clean and are really only suitable for kibble or treats (no option of mixing in wet or raw ingredients). They can also be a little loud depending on how the dog learns to dispense the treats. Again, if using these frequently, please make sure you are only using high quality single ingredient treats and are factoring in these calories so your puppy or dog doesn't end up overweight.
Puzzle Toys are also fun but with a few warnings. You MUST supervise both dogs and puppies with these type toys as most of them have pieces that can be chewed and even swallowed if care is not taken. They can also be a hassle to clean.
Lick Mats - These popular lick mats are also a hit with our puppies and dogs. We generally pull these out only for special occasions where we want to both reward and entertain the dogs for a while (think furniture being delivered, neighbor stopping by, etc.). In order to successfully use these mats you must find a combination to spread on the mat that is both healthy and irresistible to your pooch. Several of the suggestions we've discussed in Kong stuffing can also work here. For our dogs, we take it up a notch and keep these in the freezer already prepared with one of the following: natural peanut butter mixed with plain greek yogurt, puree pumpkin mixed with peanut butter or yogurt, Ollie dog food spread and re-frozen or Ollie mixed with yogurt.
We hope this post has been helpful and that you'll let us know what works and what doesn't, Please remember that any toy or bowl which doesn't entertain your pet can be donated to your local shelter for a dog in need so it's never a waste to experiment.
Lots of puppy owners claim to have a picky eater, but more often than not we've found the owner might me misreading cues or making assumptions. If not careful, before you know it owners determined to pamper their pup are literally feeding filet from their hand without really understanding the issue.If you aren't careful, it's very easy to CREATE a picky eater. Before labeling your puppy or dog as a picky eater, try these tips:
If you have considered all of these factors and determined that your dog really is a picky eater, here are the steps you should take (in order) before offering filet from your hand.
If you are looking for more information on our upcoming breedings for 2021, please check OUR PUPPIES page.
If you would like to join our interest list for future litters, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about our puppies and process.
It's that time of year when procrastinators everywhere start looking for last minute gifts that are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. If you're searching for something for a Cavalier lover . . . you're in luck. Some dog themed items can be a little cheesy and useless, but here are a few that we promise are both cute and practical. These are our suggestions that are guaranteed to arrive on time:
While Amazon is the easiest resource for last minute gifts, don't forget to consider Shutterfly where you can still personalize (for a few hours) something with a photo of your own Cavalier (we love their mouse pads) or Etsy where you can support small business and buy crafty items including ornaments and totes featuring a variety of Cavaliers. Any of these options are sure to bring a smile to your Cavalier lover on Christmas.
UPDATE: Loki is happily settled in his new home on Daniel Island, SC with his three (3) human siblings. If you would like to get notified of future Guardian Home opportunities, please review this earlier blog post and submit an application.
Lord Reddy (aka "Loki") is a beautiful purebred red Poodle who won Best Puppy in Show in Europe before joining our breeding program. Loki's full adult weight is 13 lbs. and he is about 14 inches tall. He is 1.5 years old and is imported from Europe where his parents hold Championship titles. In Europe he was considered a Dwarf Poodle, but in the US he falls in the Miniature Poodle category. Loki is fully house trained and has an understanding of basic commands. He also walks beautifully on a leash and love to fetch his tennis ball. Loki is registered with the FCI (Federation Cynoloqique International) and is completing his AKC registry. Loki will serve as a stud in our program for Cavapoos. He will also be offered as a stud for local poodle litters.
Loki has been with us for about a month while he had all of his required health testing for breeding and acclimated to the US. We are now ready to find Loki permanent placement in a Guardian Home where he can be someone's cherished pet. Because Loki has been in our family for a while, we have had the time to identify what type of family he would be suitable for. Here is Loki's wish list for the perfect family:
If you are interested in becoming a Guardian Home for Loki, please make sure you have read our post on Guardian Homes and filled out the application. Please include "Loki" in your application. Any suitable applicants will be contacted by phone and/or email for a follow-up interview.
We love dogs. We also love men who love dogs. So, imagine how we feel about Brandon McMillan - the best looking dog trainer ever! It's safe to say we're in love. If you haven't seen his show, Lucky Dog, it's currently available on CBS All Access and is a great binge watch for anyone who loves dogs (or men). It's a feel good show where Brandon rescues troubled dogs from local shelters and trains them to become perfect companions for their new families.
As much as we love the show, we found ourselves wondering how he does it - getting difficult dogs to sit and stay in a couple of days. So, we were thrilled two years ago when he finally published his book, Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dogs in 7 Days. We immediately purchased several copies and honed our training skills. Since then, we've recommended this book to many puppy families looking to work on basic commands. While we love the book, we still felt something was missing - it's sometimes hard to convey the motion of hand signals or commands by written word (okay, maybe it was because you don't see Brandon himself in the book and again, he's really easy on the eyes).
Enter the recent MasterClass announcement and our excitement to learn that Brandon now has his own dog training class! If you aren't familiar with MasterClass already, it's a great platform where you can take classes on various topics - we've learned tennis from Serena Williams and cooking from Gordon Ramsey. These classes were both great, but the ability to watch Brandon McMillan train his dogs - LIVE - has been a blast. In fifteen video lessons (totaling about 3 hours) Brandon shares his simple and effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog. He covers sit, stay and down - as well as problem areas like barking and digging.
MasterClass is billed at $15 a month and offers a 30 day money back guarantee. We simply can't recommend this enough for all those new puppy owners wondering how to create the perfect companion. If you decide to try it we would love to hear what you think!
We specifically ask our Guardian Homes and owners NOT to ask strangers on Facebook what to feed their dog. The majority of owners on forums are not veterinarians, do not properly research animal nutrition and often recommend foods that are poorly rated simply because someone else suggested them (or their vet sells them). We wrote this post to share what we feed our own dogs and the options (kibble, fresh and raw) we share with our owners. We do not cover foods sold in many veterinarian’s office but would recommend you research those options as well. If a food is recommended and you would like to read a neutral review, we suggest using Dog Food Advisor to look up any food. You may be surprised at what you find from some of the most commonly recommended and expensive vet suggested brands. Please note for us to recommend a food it must have a 4.5 or higher rating with at least 30% protein and real meat as the primary ingredient.
Please remember that we aren't veterinarians, but we are very careful and picky about what we feed our dogs. We talk to our vets. We do our homework. We talk to other breeders. We read labels. We study dog nutrition. We know that when breeding dogs, proper nutrition is the foundation to healthy animals and we've seen first-hand which brands work best on Cavaliers, Cavachons and Cavapoos. We also know that every owner and every dog is different. We do not judge other people's decisions on what to feed, as long as they are doing the best they can for their dog. We would encourage owners to investigate all of the following options:
KIBBLE - Kibble is only a small part of our dog's diet; however, most owners prefer kibble as the primary source of their dog's nutrition. We would encourage you to also consider adding home cooked and / or raw to your dog’s menu if possible. If you plan to feed only kibble, it's vitally important that you choose the best one you can afford. Kibble can often get a bad rap due to recalls, poor nutritional value and low-quality proteins but some are better than others. Here are our choices (based on where you prefer to shop):
PAWTREE OPTIONS - We were approached to test PawTree kibble on our dogs and have really enjoyed this company. We have found their claims to be true (less food, less poop, healthier dogs) and our dogs enjoy their products. We are currently feeding a rotation of Salmon & Sweet Potato, Whitefish & Brown Rice and Chicken & Oatlmeal formulas. We are also in love with their raw treats and superfoood seasonings (for that picky eater in the pack). By joining their PawClub and setting up an EZ-Ship these products enjoy free shipping!
1. Instinct Original Small Breed Dog Food (Grain Free) - This is a grain free option whose first five ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas and tapioca. We only recommend this for dogs who require a grain-free option. Contains 39% protein.
2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed – This is a grain inclusive option whose first four ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley and ground white rice. It contains 30% protein.
1. Nulo Freestyle Small Breed (Grain Free) – This is a grain free option whose first four ingredients include Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal and salmon meal. There is chicken in this recipe so it’s not suitable for dogs who are allergic to chicken. This kibble contains 34% protein.
2. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed – This is a grain inclusive option whose first four ingredients are Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal and oatmeal. This kibble contains protein. This kibble contains 31% protein.
HOME COOKED - Many new dog owners get confused with the difference between "raw feeding" (which is based on foods that are not cooked) and "home cooked" which is simply preparing your dog’s food at home from ingredients such as lean meats, vegetables and carbohydrates. This is easy to confuse. For example, we will share a puppy loaf (below) which can be served raw or cooked - it would fall in both categories.
While we do make home cooked meals for our dogs, we find it a challenge to provide all the nutritional elements necessary. We also find from our owners that truly nutritionally balanced home-cooked meals can also be time consuming, more expensive and frustrating (to make sure your dog gets all the nutrients needed). A few of our favorite recipes can be found on Damn Delicious and Food.com. We also regularly add grilled or dehydrated chicken or boiled eggs to our dogs other meals.
Luckily, today's dogs also have another great option which is "home cooked" meals delivered to your home. Many are less expensive than you may expect. Our dogs currently LOVE Ollie. This is also a great option for dogs who need a limited ingredient diet for allergies.
RAW FEEDING - This is a passionate and controversial topic. Those who support raw feeding feel that anything less is acceptable. Meanwhile, new dog owners find raw feeding confusing, time consuming and not often in line with their vet's recommendations. If you have an interest in raw feeding a Cavalier or a Cavalier hybrid, we suggest you turn to Dt. Judy Morgan. Her recipe for puppy loaf is a great introduction to raw feeding.
Another great option to get started in raw nutrition is using freeze dried and frozen raw products available through retailers and your local specialty dog food store. We rely heavily on freeze dried raw when we travel, want to introduce a new dog to raw gently and want to supplement with raw. These products provide raw benefits without you having to grind, chop, measure or mix the ingredients yourself! Here are our suggestions to help you get started on raw feeding your dogs:
1. Primal Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food – This brand has tons of flavors and are a breeze to serve. You literally just re-hydrate the nuggets with water (or bone broth) and serve.
2. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites (Grain Free Options) – Also available in patties. Another reputable brand with a wide variety of flavors. This is a grain free option that contains 85% beef and organs. Stored in the freezer, you do need to thaw these prior to serving but they thaw quickly.
AMAZON.COM OPTIONS – Please note that we don’t purchase frozen products from Amazon so this only includes their freeze dried options.
1. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Dinner Patties – Another brand we love for travel but not all the flavors are created equal. We were surprised to learn that some of the flavors are not highly ranked so please keep it to Chicken, Venison Blend or Rabbit in this option.
2. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food – This is a great grain free option that is beef only (for those sensitive to chicken). We do not recommend this as the sole food in your dog's diet as
Let us conclude by again repeating that nutrition plays a fundamental role in your dog’s health. You shouldn’t be afraid to try a few different things to see how their skin, coat and energy change. At the end of the day, dog food is a personal choice based on your dog, your time and your budget. Don't surrender that choice to strangers with little to no knowledge of any of those factors and always discuss any dietary concerns with your vet first.
UPDATE: Since writing this post, we have discovered our new favorite ear product which is sold by PawTree. Check out their Ear Wash & Ear Dry Kit as well as their Itches & Twitches Deluxe Pack for dogs which is solving ALL of our smelly ears, itchy skin, dull coat and allergy related issues!
Ear infections can occur in any breed but Cavaliers and their hybrids can be particularly prone to ear issues due to their large floppy ears. This problem is further exasperated by the fact that many of them love the water. We've found with our dogs that proper ear care can eliminate many trips to the vet. Here are some suggestions for items to have on hand and how to use them:
Years ago, almost all dogs who were not going to be bred were spayed or neutered at an early age. For that reason, it was only breeders that had to deal with heat cycles and puppy panties. However, that has changed in recent years as many studies have proven that it may be better to allow your dog to fully mature before having her spayed. As a result we are frequently asked how to handle a dog's first heat. Here are some considerations and products to help you survive your girls first heat.
The short answer - Find a breeding mentor to guide you through the testing, certifications, the actual mating and whelping process, and locating quality homes for the puppies.
The long answer - About once a week, some well meaning dog lover will post a picture of their adorable and beloved dog in an online forum and announce they intend to breed him/her but don't know where to start. Within minutes, they get negative comments from other breeders or "adopt don't shop" advocates advising them to pack up their dream of breeding their dog and throwing out acronyms like DNA, OFA and AI with no explanation. These comments come from a very good place as most reputable breeders and animal advocates hate nothing more than seeing post after post of sick dogs that result from poor breeding practices and so called "backyard breeders" who make no effort to improve the breed and are just looking for some quick cash. They also realize that breeding is a much more complicated and expensive endeavor than most people realize.
That being said, every breeder had to start somewhere and as an SPCA Board Member and supporter, I've come to realize that if breeders shame or shut down anyone else with an interest in breeding then we are almost guaranteeing what we're trying to prevent - that people will proceed without the information and resources they need. For that reason, I recommend that everyone considering breeding their dog seek out a qualified breeding mentor.
I'm happy to share my time and energy with those wanting to learn more about breeding or trying to start a breeding program involving Cavaliers or their hybrids. I had two mentors when I first started breeding and I view it as my responsibility to repay that kindness by helping others. I don't feel that others trying to learn more about these breeds are my competitors - I instead consider them my teammates in the effort to improve these breeds and guarantee healthier bloodlines.
If you happen to be the person who wants to breed your dog, please consider getting a breeding mentor to help you in this process. Be prepared to answer the following questions before reaching out to a potential mentor:
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you need to do your best to remedy that before attempting to breed your dog. If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then it's time to search for a mentor. Look for the following:
If your dog is too young but you are eager to learn more about breeding, take the time to do the following:
Breeding your dog can be a fun and exciting adventure but it's also a large responsibility and one that should be done only after research and guidance. You can learn more about breeding mentors on these pages:
AKC Breeding Mentor Article
How To Choose A Mentor
If we can help you on your journey to breed your dog, please don't hesitate to contact us at LierChonPoo@gmail.com.
There is nothing that makes us happier than finding other members of online forums educating puppy shoppers. We spotted one such member (Catherine O'Connor) who posted this information that we wanted to share because it's valuable, accurate and important. Her posts are shared below (with permission, of course). They also mentions some very well known brokers in our area that people seem to recommend repeatedly just because they have "available puppies." Here are her posts:
SPOTTING PUPPY BROKERS
It’s easy to be fooled by some of these very sophisticated broker run puppy mill networks into thinking you’re making a responsible choice. Not only are some of these networks so large & have so many breeders producing for them it’s hard to tell who’s who name wise (and easy to shed complaints & bad reviews by just starting a new LLC.) but some of them present themselves as downright wholesome, religious, pro-family & absolutely anti-puppy mill. Don’t fall for these animal abusers tricks. Make sure to do your homework!
SPOTTING PUPPY SCAMS:
With the shortage of puppies from the pandemic & people growing more impatient by the day to find one, scammers have swarmed these kinds of groups to make easy money. The admins delete all day & do their best but it’s extremely overwhelming as these scammers switch up their identities so fast; its just impossible to keep them out of these groups. So It’s up to you do the vetting but If you take these 4 steps it weeds out almost all of them.
1. ALWAYS reverse image search every picture they send you or post. That eliminates almost all of them from the jump because they just use found pictures on the internet as their own. If you don’t know how just google it - there are a million different free pages that allow you to do it & show you how step by step.
2. ALWAYS speak on the phone.
3. ALWAYS get and then ACTUALLY check the Vet reference by first googling them to make sure they are an actual Vet & they did not give you a spoofed internet number & then call them yourselves.
4. Never wire them money. Use PayPal or something that both protects you as the consumer (and will refund you in the event of an issue) & verifies their identity before they can collect their money. *Always click the business option on PayPal not the friends & family. It’s worth the small fee PayPal charges to insure your investment.
Do these 4 things and be skeptical of any breeder that does not have a waiting list right now as almost every reputable one does! Best of luck everyone!🐾🍀
STOP THE SCAMS: PART 2
I’ve seen 3 posts across the Cavachon groups I’m in from people who got scammed today. So whether it’s someone pretending to be a breeder or someone pretending to have a dog to rehome, if you’re in the market for a puppy & you’re worried or new to this, here’s how to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.
Someone sending you a few pictures of a cute puppy with a few Facebook messages & then asking you for a deposit is not even close to enough.
Check for signs of legitimacy. When was their Facebook page created. Look at their pictures on their profile, cover pic, profile pic, timeline pics -were they all uploaded the same day? Who liked/commented on their pics? Does it seem like normal kind of engagement from friends/family or do their comments & likes more closely resemble bots or foreign nationals?
For breeders- when was their Facebook business page created? how many likes do they have? Do they have their review section turned on? Do they have any? Check the community section, any posts? Are they advertising 6 different kinds of dogs? Red flag. Do they not outwardly say where they are located or discuss lineage? Red flags. No phone number or other contact info? Red flag. Most real breeders have websites, ask for theirs.
Still can’t tell? Take those cute puppy pics they sent you & do a reverse image search on google images to see if they’re real or if they’ve just lifted them from someplace/someone else. If nothing comes up ask if you can come visit to meet the puppy, see the parents etc. At the very least you want to do a live FaceTime video call with the person the profile is presenting to be (don’t accept any excuses as to why you’re now dealing with someone else or seeing a different dog or can’t see the dog you’d be getting) to see the puppy, or if not born yet, the parents & where they care for their dogs.
Ask lots of questions. If you’re met with any resistance or sales pressure- move on. https://bedogsmart.org/…/questions-to-ask-a-breeder-before…/
Ask for recommendations here for Breeders people have used & then start doing your homework. Google them for possible complaints, to find reviews etc. Whether it’s a breeder or someone rehoming a pet you need to not only get verifiable references - but you need to then actually check them too. From a breeder you want to talk (not text, not email but actually TALK) to satisfied customers AND their Vet & for anyone rehoming definitely a Vet reference.
Never send any money via Western Union or any other money wiring services. Avoid using Venmo or Zelle .Too much sensitive personal financial info at risk. If a deposit is required try to use PayPal if possible. Not only do you have payment protection you also don’t have to give out any credit card or address information. If that’s no good, the next safest bet is your credit card because of the charge back protection.
That’s all I can think of offhand, if anyone has anything else please chime in, & don’t forget everyone - there’s just not an abundance of puppies right now due to the COVID-19 rush - so if it’s really cheap or it looks too good to be true-it probably is! Trust your gut! Best of luck everyone!❤️
Many families prefer to adopt from a local shelter or rescue, but quite often it's impossible to find Cavaliers or low shedding small dogs because they are rarely surrendered. When that option has been exhausted, you have to start the search for a breeder.
Maybe you know exactly what type of dog you want down the the exact size, sex and color - or maybe you're just beginning your search and narrowing between similar breeds such as Cavachons and Cavapoos. While you are choosing your breed, it's equally important (if not more important) to decide what type of BREEDER you are looking for. Many people will say they want a "reputable breeder" or an "ethical breeder" without really knowing what that means or how to really figure out what type of breeder you've contacted. Hopefully you've also learned that price alone is not an indicator (we've seen lots of poorly bred dogs sold to unsuspecting buyers for the same price or more than well bred dogs). We hope this post will help you figure out what type of breeder you're looking for.
While we know there are exceptions to every rule, the majority of breeders fall squarely in to these three categories:
Consumers have become increasingly aware that the best puppies come from reputable breeders whose dogs are part of the family. Most people are not morally comfortable purchasing a dog from a puppy mill or puppy store, not only because the puppy is not properly socialized before purchase, but also because of the deplorable breedings and health conditions in which the parents are forced to live. Similarly, the idea of dogs left alone in large kennels has become unattractive. This leaves reputable breeders in a predicament as to how to make sure their animals have the best possible lives while also maintaining diversity and high standards for their breeding program. One solution many breeders rely on is the use of Guardian Homes.
Simply put, a Guardian Home is the placement of a male or female dog that will be used to breed in the home of someone other than the breeder. This helps the breeder accomplish several goals:
For Guardian Families, this is a great way to enjoy a pick of the litter puppy without the price. These programs often offer retirees, those who can't afford the purebred dog of their dreams or families who just love puppies a chance to experience the joys of breeding without all of the costs, liabilities and hassles of puppy sales. Think you might make a good Guardian Home? Here are some requirements most reputable breeders will have:
Another reminder, if you are in love with hybrids then a Guardian Home program will likely not be an option. Many people forget that to breed F1 hybrids the breeder owns the purebred parents and sells the hybrids. For example, as much as we LOVE LOVE LOVE our Cavachons we don't keep them in our breeding program - only purebred Cavaliers and purebred Bichons are used in our program and therefore those are the types of dogs placed in Guardian Homes.
We hope this post has explained more about the opportunity to serve as a Guardian Home. If you have an interest in learning more about our Charleston based Guardian Home program, please complete the online application.
This blog post will cover why it's so important to purchase a puppy from a breeder who does DNA tests on their breeding stock and what to look for when provided a copy. We will cover in a future post why you might consider DNA testing your own dog, especially if you rescued, purchased from a puppy store or bought a puppy without researching the breeder.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is prone to numerous health conditions, many of them both financially and personally devastating for their owners. Years ago, we didn't have DNA testing available to help us identify dogs that were at risk for passing on serious genetic defects. Today, that's not the case and therefore any reputable breeder will be able to discuss with you the role that DNA plays in their breeding program and provide you with testing results. Before discussing specific genetic conditions that impact this breed we want to cover the basics of understanding whether a dog is at genetically clear (healthy), a carrier (healthy but can pass on the disease to puppies) or affected (unhealthy and will pass on the disease).
CLEAR - This is the gold standard. This is a dog who is clear of any genetic defects. This means they are not personally at risk and do not carry any genes for genetic defect that can be passed on to their puppies.
CARRIER - A carrier is a dog who carries one (1) gene for a genetic defect. Because they only carry one gene for this defect it will not affect them (they will never develop the defect) but they can pass it on to their puppies. Some consumers mistakenly believe that carriers should not be bred but this is not case. Carriers can safely be bred but only to a dog who is clear for that defect. If we removed all carriers from our breeding pool we would encounter other problems with inbreeding. Two carriers should not be bred.
AFFECTED - A dog who is at risk (or affected) is a dog who carries 2 copies of the gene for a trait and therefore is at risk for the disease. Although not ideal, this dog can still be bred to a dog who is clear as they will produce a litter of carriers. That being said, you do not want to purchase a dog who is affected for a genetic condition as that dog will likely become symptomatic of that condition. If your breeder doesn't test genetically then you will have no way of knowing what you are getting.
This digram helps illustrate the breeding of clear, carriers and affected dogs.
Now that you have an understanding of clear, carrier and affected you need to know what genetic tests are important for this breed. At a minimum, a reputable breeder should be testing for the following:
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL -
To see a sample Embark DNA report, please check out this post where we provide a report from one of our dogs.
A few final words for those looking for a hybrid puppy (Cavachon or Cavapoo). First, be very wary of the hybrid breeder who claims they don't need to DNA test their dogs because crossing two breeds will eliminate the genetic disorders. This is false. This breeder is either being deceptive or has just shown their ignorance. For example Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) which is a devastating neurological disorder that doesn't appear until a dog is older (and his/her puppies have already been sold). This disease is similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig's in humans. This disease also appears in both poodles and Cavaliers; therefore, a hybrid breeder who is not testing both parents for the common disease(s) is setting up puppy owners for heartbreak.
Secondly, this is where the difference between a F1 puppy and an F2 puppy is really important. With F1 puppies many of the diseases can be eliminated if they are not a common disease; however, with F2 puppies you bring the disease possibility back. This often confuses people so here is an example:
F1 Cavapoos - A purebred Cavalier Spaniel is crossed with a purebred Poodle. The Cavalier Spaniel is affected for DM. The Bichon is clear for DM. As you can see from the chart above, 100% of their offspring will be a carrier for DM. They will not have the disease but they will pass it on to their hybrid offspring.
F2 - An uneducated breeder has two F1 Cavapoos. Both were from a situation similar to the above and carry for DM but don't show signs of the disease. The breeder doesn't DNA test because they are breeding hybrids and were told it isn't necessary or is trying to increase profits by not testing. They breed these dogs together and again referring to the chart above more than 50% of their puppies will inherit and be affected by this disease. The new owner is clueless and feels confident in this breeder because they received a one-year health guarantee for a condition that will not appear for 7+ more years.
DNA testing alone does not make a reputable breeder. There are other breed specific heart, hip, eye and related tests that should be performed and provided. For more information on those tests, please see our posts on the OFA as a part of your puppy search.
If you would like to learn more about DNA testing your dog before breeding or to uncover any potential health risks, we highly recommend Embark as they handle all of our DNA testing and are a paid advertiser of our educational content. Please review this post that provides Embark discounts and a copy of an Embark report.
Several times a day, well-meaning members of various Facebook forums will ask other well meaning members what they should feed their puppy. Members who are not vets, are not breeders and have not read the ingredients on their own dogs food will then tell new dog owners what food to buy usually based on what their dog "likes." And then inevitably, others will chime in criticizing the choice to feed kibble in the first place and at the end of the day I imagine many group members regret asking the question as they get a 50+ responses, none of the helpful,
So as not to be a hypocrite please remember that we also ARE NOT vets, but we are very careful about what we feed our dogs. We talk to our vets. We do our homework. We talk to other breeders. We read labels. We study dog nutrition. We also do not judge other people's decisions on what to feed, as long as they are doing the best they can for their dog. Every breed, every dog and every owner is different. We would encourage owners to investigate all of the following options:
We talk a lot about DNA and want to share a quick post on our preferred DNA provider, Embark Veterinary, Inc. We recommend Embark to the following people:
While there are several DNA companies on the market, we specifically use and sought out Embark as a paid advertiser of our content because of the following:
Attached is a sample page from our Embark DNA report on KoKo that shows she's DNA clear for all conditions. This is the gold standard for breeding.
If you are searching for a puppy, please read our post on DNA TESTING and the role it plays in responsible breeding. If you are considering one of our puppies, please email us and we will gladly share our full Embark DNA reports with you for your review. If you are a new dog owner and want to test your puppy for any health conditions, please use the link below for current promotions being offered by Embark.
Covid. Time at home to train, loneliness, a desire to do something for the kids and general depression have lots of people looking for the same thing - a new puppy, man's best friend and companionship! The frantic search began the first week of March and has shown NO SIGNS of slowing down with tons of new posts on Facebook forums every day with a family looking for a new puppy. Sadly, many of them have just come up with this idea and don't realize they are weeks behind the masses in their search. Unfortunately, most reputable breeders (if not all) are wiped out of puppies. Several I know have even sold younger dogs they were intending to keep in their breeding program simply because they felt so bad for the families searching. Breeders I talk to and work with are getting bombarded by tons of inquiries every day, getting labeled as unresponsive because they can't keep up and yet have nothing left to offer except a position on a waitlist.
High demand, low supply and desperation results in a several things:
As I've said many times on this page, I don't expect you to take my word on any topic - do your homework. If you don't think puppy scams are happening all around you here are a few links from one coast to the other:
Better Business Bureau Report on Covid Puppy Scams
North Carolina Department of Justice Puppy Scam Alert
Three Oaks Farm Christmas Puppy Scam in Charleston
Concord News Article on Current Puppy Scams
Please protect yourself. Please check your local shelters as dogs will be surrendered every day due to job loss and related issues. Please find one to two breeders you trust and get on their waiting list - before you know it you WILL have that perfect puppy!
We've mentioned in prior posts that we are a fan of the Kong for training and occupying puppies; however, we've also found that people can be confused about what to do with the Kong and exactly how to get a puppy interested in playing with it. We also know there are a lot of products available at pet stores to stuff Kongs but they aren't necessarily healthy options or good for young puppies. Here are a few basic ideas and recipes to get you started on Kong stuffing and to give you the confidence to start creating your own recipes and strategies.
SHOPPING LIST: You don't need all of these items but will want a combination of dry goods and "mashable" healthy foods to layer your Kong:
These are just a few ideas to help you understand the progression of Kong stuffing and how it can occupy your puppy. Don't be afraid to experiment with different recipes to find a few favorites that your dog will love. Just be aware of the added calories and sugar and consider stuffed Kong when making sure your dog gets a balanced diet.
Does your dog have a favorite Kong recipe? We'd love for you to share it here!
Occupying your puppy is a key element to training success. It makes crate training easier, it helps to reduce destructive behaviors like chewing shoes and furniture, it reduces teething pain and it allows for distraction when nipping or barking. In order to effectively train a puppy, it's best to have a full arsenal of tools on hand and to rotate them to prevent boredom. While this may seem like a long list, it will take trial and error to really figure out what will work for your puppy. And remember, any items your puppy doesn't use or enjoy can be dropped off at your local animal shelter for less fortunate dogs who would LOVE something new! Below is our list of items we have on hand and what we use them for:
CRATE TRAINING - One key to crate training is to make the crate or pen somewhere your puppy wants to go, Not only should it be a safe place, but it should also have some stimulation to reduce boredom, barking and whining. One easy way to make that happen is to feed your puppy in the crate and to also provide stimulating rewards. For crate training, look for items that last a while and don't require supervision. Items that could cause choking should be avoided - and never use rawhide. Here are our top picks (click on each to go directly to Amazon):
GENERAL CHEWING - Dogs chew for multiple reasons including boredom and teething. Getting to the bottom of why your dog is chewing might help you choose the correct toy or product. Also, if your dog is simply bored, the best solution is always increasing exercise and mental stimulation through training. Below are some of our favorite solutions for teething and mental stimulation:
TRAINING TREATS - Training your puppy is great because it's not only mental stimulation that reduces bad behaviors but it also helps the puppy bond with you. The key to training is high value treats that the dog really wants to earn. That being said you also want to make sure it's okay for their tummies. A lot of dog treats are loaded with bad ingredients and things that can be harmful for your puppy. Try a few of these treats to find one that your puppy really enjoys and when shopping always look for single ingredients, natural ingredients and treats that can be broken in to small pieces for training sessions. Here are a few of our favorites but don't be afraid to also try home cooked treats or pieces of deli meat, ground beef, etc.
While this blog has focused on puppies, we use every item here for our grown dogs, we simply size up on some of the Kong type toys and don't break the treats in half! Best wishes in occupying your pup . . .
This blog contains affiliate links. I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made from links on this blog. We do not recommend any products that we do not purchase and use for our dogs.